keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break

Thanksgiving break starts on the 25th. A mere three weeks from now and all the school children will be home from class. You’d better believe I’ve already thought of ways to keep my first grader entertained while she’s out of school. Here is a survival guide if you will of what I plan to do to keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break and not lose my mind or control of the monthly budget.

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Survival Guide to Keeping the Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break

Organized Play Dates

I hope to give my girl not one, but two playdates over the break. This is excluding playtime with cousins, which is also very likely to happen. I’m already in talks on one and play to reach out to the other mom this week. I’m not waiting around till the last minute on this to find out the week before that someone will be out of town. You need to have your ducks in a row.


This is where some leftover gift cards from the kids’ birthdays will come in handy. I’ve been saving a couple and Thanksgiving break will be the perfect week to use them! They both have Barnes and Noble gift cards and I plan to take them there to look around, play with the train table, and pick out a new book or two. This will make a fun outing to break up a day that might otherwise be spent indoors.

We also have a bowling gift certificate. This will probably be something we wait for daddy to get off work to enjoy, but it is still a fun way and a good chance to get out of the house without spending a lot of money.

I will probably budget a few dollars in entertainment or for one meal out this week. I have not yet finalized our November budget, (it is on my list today) so we’ll see what is available.

Outdoor Play Time to Keep the Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break

Provided it isn’t too wet we will probably bundle up and go outside for at least a little while every day we’re home. This should prove interesting as I have one who can’t stand wearing a coat, but a little trip outside usually resets the little ones’ attitudes for a while, so it’s worth the effort.

Library Time

Check your local library calendar for fun events to keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break. The Fayetteville Public Library, which is close enough to us will be screening a FREE movie for kids Monday-Wednesday at 1 PM! It will no doubt be busy, but there is a different, current release Disney movie each of the three days. If you live in Northwest Arkansas and are interested check out their calendar for more information.

keep the kids entertained Thanksgiving break
more than just books at the library

We won’t make it for a movie (two-year-old attention span and all), but we will definitely be loading up on some good reads at the beginning of the week and browsing the movie section for fun holiday films to watch at home.

Craft Time

I am admittedly not the greatest at following through with this, but we will probably break out the craft supplies once or twice. There are a few fun little ideas we could put together with supplies already on hand. I will encourage the kids (mostly the oldest) to make Thanksgiving cards to give to family members. as well as make the customary turkeys by tracing their hands.

Educational Screen Time

My daughter’s school uses a few online resources we can access from home to help with reading and math. I plan to allow around 30 minutes a day on either IStation or Sumdog for her to work on math skills while at home.

We do allow some TV time, but I try to keep it at a minimum and once it’s on it is a fight to turn it off without inevitable meltdowns.

Board & Card Games

I see a lot of Trouble, Candy Land, Yeti in My Spaghetti, and Go Fish in my near future! Maybe we’ll borrow a game and teach her something new. She loves playing games and is very competitive.

She also tries very hard to include her little brother in the fun, which is cute. It takes longer to play, but it’s still sweet.

Do you have any 2s?

How do You Plan to Keep Your Kids Entertained Thanksgiving Break?

Will you be traveling? Staying home? How do you keep your kids entertained without television all day? Have any special traditions or activities you like to do with your kids while they’re home on break?

With the twice as long Christmas/Winter break coming up just a few weeks after Thanksgiving, you can actually refer back to this list for then as well. Thankfully the husband will be off Christmas week. That will make things a little easier. Maybe our daughter will get a new game or two for Christmas we can enjoy the second week of that break.

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  1. glowsteady says:

    Great suggestions to keep them entertained without too much screen time. I always spent the holidays at my grandparents’ house when I was younger and there were so many kids on their street to have play dates and activities with x


    • alifeonadime_lylxai says:

      I try to avoid a lot of screen time. I’m not always successful, but I do try! Having a plan definitely helps me cut it back.

  2. Jordan: My Flourishing Retrospect says:

    These are such great ideas! I remember playing games with my family when I was younger during Thanksgiving break. We would play games like Uno, Skip-Bo, and my favorite Nancy Drew video games.

    Jordan |

  3. Anonymous says:

    These are such great ideas! I remember playing games with my family when I was younger during Thanksgiving break. We would play games like Uno, Skip-Bo, and my favorite Nancy Drew video games.

    Jordan |

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